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Mon, 3 Sep 2001, 12:22 PM

INDY - Top Fuel Round 2 Eliminations
By Michael L. Jex

120 Degree Track = Tire Smoke?

CLERMONT, Ind. - Results of round 2 eliminations in Top Fuel at the 47th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals:

   2 Mike Dunn           4.530 327.82  Q    7 Tim Gibson          4.597 316.75
   (D Garlits   ) 0.507  5.108 301.47  E1   (D Herbert   ) 0.511  4.676 307.86
 *****WINNER***** 0.512  4.737 311.34  E2                  0.499 10.705  83.67
12:57 PM Round two gets underway under very sunny skies. 80 degree weather with the humidity hovering around 58% and a steady barometer at 29.97. Gibson blazed the tires right at the hit - his short time was a paltry 1.003 compared to Dunn's .873. Nice pass for the Yankees machine.

   1 Kenny Bernstein     4.505 323.74  Q    9 Andrew Cowin        4.606 319.82
   (S Weis      ) 0.499  4.671 318.62  E1   (T Schumacher) 0.504  4.693 311.56
 *****WINNER***** 0.493  4.650 313.29  E2                  0.498  4.702 310.98
Great side-by-side drag race! It was close all the way to half track, where Bernstein lead by .034. The Bud King continued to move ahead and took the win by a dragster length. Nice passes for both cars.

   6 Gary Scelzi         4.592 273.77  Q   14 Paul Romine         4.688 320.28
   (D Grubnic   ) 0.498  4.613 318.39  E1   (D Kalitta   ) 0.525  5.020 264.96
 *****WINNER***** 0.500  5.239 273.66  E2                  0.498  6.147 119.70
Romine's career best is a 4.660 compared to Scelzi's 4.480, but with track temps now above 120 degrees anything can happen. Smokefest! Romine lit up the big goodyears first, right after recording a .931 60-foot time. Scelzi started blazing the yellow labeled slicks before halftrack, then pedaled several times with clouds of billowing smoke. From the top end Gary said he pedaled at least three times and was pretty nervous about what he was doing. After all the last time he pedaled at Brainerd the engine blew up. Team Winston survives a round with some lady luck, but it will cost them - there's oil in Scelzi's lane. Time for a cleanup! 1:07 PM

   4 Larry Dixon         4.568 314.83  Q    5 Darrell Russell     4.591 322.34
   (B Litton    ) 0.502  4.605 317.49  E1   (S Muldowney ) 0.518  4.675 316.60
 *****WINNER***** 0.536  4.594 317.27  E2                  0.540  4.662 316.15
Joe Amato and Darrell Russell rode down the track together during this mornings introductions talking about the track and what they wanted to do. A team they both felt would be a major factor today is in the other lane. Dixon's numbers were better than Russell's at every interval - .853 to Russell's .867. Dixon's halftrack speed was 266.69 to Russell's 262.44 mph. Dixon got a little out of the groove in the middle of the track and the car moved around some, otherwise this might have been just a little better. Dixon will race Kenny Bernstein in the semis and Dixon will have lane choice. On the other side of the ladder Mike Dunn and Gary Scelzi will square off. 1:13 PM

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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